I think this is nice: Jason Donovan’s real-life daughter Jemma is joining the cast of Neighbours as a mystery character, but will be a member of the Robinson family. She’ll be the third-generation of Donovan to star on the show, with her grandfather Terrence also a star on the show for some time.

Source: Radio Times

Plot twist! Jessie Smollett saw charges against him dropped. It’s hard to really think that jail time is a suitable punishment for the actor who will probably not work again. Or be able to show his face in public.

Joe Magats, the prosecutor who made the decision, said that there had been no problems with the evidence or the police investigation into Mr. Smollett. Mr. Magats said he dropped the charges after Mr. Smollett agreed to the community service and to give up the $10,000 he paid for his release, money that would have been returned to him if he had made all his court appearances. He also noted that Mr. Smollett had no previous criminal record and said that the dropping of the charges “didn’t exonerate him.”

Source: New York Times

Variety has asked analysts what impact Apple TV Plus will have on Netflix.

Save yourself a click: it will have limited impact. The only way it might actually cause an issue is if the new TV app is actually incredible and encourages users to spend a lot more time with competing services who have content within that app. And that’s unlikely.

Source: Variety

Next month Animal Planet launches Fish Or Die, which is an incredibly cool title for a show that could be wild, but will probably not live up to its promise on account of being an Animal Planet show.

“From glacial streams in Greenland to raging rapids in Borneo, this team of adventurers travels the globe to chase rumors of giant fish in untouched waters. They are not survival experts, but these close friends are determined to work together and boldly follow their dreams to be the very first to fish some of the most uncharted waters left on Earth!” said Animal Planet.

Source: Broadcasting and Cable

Jordan Klepper has a new Comedy Central show. It sounds just like every other TV show being launched by a comedian right now.

“When Jordan said he wanted to travel the country to explore our most pressing issues and talk to the people on the front lines fighting for change, little did we know that he would capsize a boat in the Bayou or get arrested in Georgia,” Comedy Central’s Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen said in a joint statement. “But we think that his super funny, poignant, and provocative portrait of America, was (almost) worth the bodily harm and criminal record.”

Sure enough, Klepper‘s eight-episode run will cover everything from military veterans using professional wrestling in order to cope with PTSD (since the Department of Veterans Affairs offers little to no help), to enrolling in a Georgia university with a group of undocumented immigrant students in “an act of civil disobedience that ends with a TMZ mugshot and a new perspective on privilege.”

ABW On The Road:
Good morning from Shinjuku, Japan

I’ve never been to Japan before and so far it is living up to expectation. I think. I spent yesterday feeling exceedingly zonked, having done an overnight flight with maybe an hour of interrupted sleep.

I’ll keep my updates on ABW related mostly to media-things. But if for some reason you do care about my personal trip, feel free to visit my Facebook for daily posts and also my Instagram for random oddities.

I discovered that Tower Records still exists in Japan. I assumed the chain had folded (isn’t that what the Colin Hanks doco was about?), but it’s alive and well here with a few stores. What is odd is that the store, which was 4 decent-sized levels of record store, seems to have completely doubled down on the experience of how it felt like to buy music in 1998. Near the entrance we found a bluetooth discman before seeing row after row of CD’s on shelves. It felt just like going into HMV as a teen. I even spent a few minutes listening to featured albums on listening stations.

A true sign I am in 1998. Weezer can’t REALLY still be a thing… right? *cough*

Watching TV in a hotel room is never really that representative of what actually watching TV in that country is like. The channel selection is always a bit odd. But, it’s been a struggle here with all the channels in Japanese with no English subtitles or English language tracks. There’s one channel with an English track available and it is DLife, a Discovery-owned factual channel that’s rather mindless.

But I have tried watching some NHK news where I saw a sports reporter run into the studio and present. It was action-packed. Also, I saw this odd game of what seemed to be lacrosse:

The winners:

Oh, and I went into Kinokuniya to see what an actual Japanese store looks like (I’m always in the Kinokuniya in Sydney) - it didn’t seem as big as I expected it to be, but there was some great stuff in there, like this: